Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 29, 2011

“Dumb as a Tea Party Republican”
This is the new and somewhat frightening phrase currently making its way across trading desks on Wall Street. What it means is that US fiscal agenda is being driven by people with no understanding of economics wrapped with the certitude of perfect ignorance.  It is a legitimate debate to have about government spending, deficits, job creation etc. It is quite another to continue to try to spin that white is black and vice versa. Three weeks ago Congress passed its spending cut legislation as a compromise in re the debt ceiling increase. What I think John Boehner is trying to say is that this would create jobs because small businesses will feel confident in the government’s policy and therefore go out and hire people. John proving once and for all he hasn’t got a clue about fiscal policy impact or business in general. I know he gets weepy at a Chevrolet commercial but he need to understand what he is doing to the economy. Any cut in Federal spending will increase unemployment and suppress economic activity and growth. Again I am not arguing for or against lower spending but when the leadership of Congress wants to play “let’s pretend” all Americans of either party should be scared. If you think the deficit is more important than job creation then you should stand up and be counted.
One of the Tea Party Republican candidates thinks God is sending natural disasters to the east coast because He disapproves of the US Deficit. When called on this her spokesperson said she was only joking. The best she can come up with is changing the theological basis for recent weather to a joke about an incident where people died, lives have been disrupted, homes destroyed and misery visited on her fellow citizens. How Christian of her.
The economic situation of the US needs serious people with serious ideas. We have had enough of the nut cases and the people who cater to them. Stop the Madness.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Aug 22 2011

August 22, 2011

Some unborn sorrow, ripe in fortune's womb, Is coming towards me

The above quote is from Richard II, act 2, scene 2 and describes the general feeling of fixed income traders on Wall Street this morning. The activity of the last two weeks has been volatile, irrational, and emotional out of all proportion to the current news. At times like this, if you believe the markets are efficient (and I do in the long run) there is an implied warning to be careful. Markets are the collective judgment of millions of individual decisions reflected in current prices. Clearly there is lurking something that is creating unease. In August 2007 we saw the start of the financial meltdown which turned the US Securities markets into a Salvador Dali painting. There was a year of uncertainty and confusion while half the world thought everything was OK and the other half felt we were headed to the end of times. September 2008 showed who was right. Personally I believe the driver for the next crises is the condition of the banks in the US and the continued deterioration of the loan portfolio. Combine this with a lack of desire in Washington to address unemployment and it points to sluggish perhaps receding economy for the next couple of years.
We remain constructive on the bond markets. We are continuously looking for good opportunities and ways for our clients to improve returns. During times like this bond investors should look for every opportunity to upgrade their portfolios. Stay tuned